I hate you, Payless

Here’s a typical situation: the Romgi and I are at a store. We’ve collected our awesome purchases and brought them up to the cashier. She scans them, puts them in a bag, and as I swipe my debit card she asks, “Can I get your phone number/zip code?”

I sigh. “Do you need it?” I respond.

She says something about “information purposes” or an equally incoherent phrase. So I decline.

The Romgi shakes his head and walks away. As we walk out of the store, he asks me why I couldn’t just give them my phone number (or zip code). Grouchily, I tell him that I don’t like them having my information.

Today, faithful readers, the Romgi admitted that I was totally right.

We’d gone to Payless recently to replace my one pair of black shoes (I bought the old ones in 2006), and just to make the Romgi’s life easier I gave the cashier my phone number. Actually, just to be ornery, I gave her the Romgi’s phone number. And we left the store without issue.


Today the Romgi got a text message from Payless!

PAYLESS thx U 4 giving us ur #! Get 20% off ur next purchase w/code 33079 thru 4/11

Maybe this doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, especially since I was able to call and use an automated system to remove the Romgi’s number from their mailing list. But it’s a HUGE deal to me. Unsolicited texts! Those cost ME money! Email is one thing – it’s easy to click unsubscribe or even call it spam. But a text seems much more invasive (and can I point out again, it costs me money to receive).

The Romgi wonders if this could make a class-action lawsuit.

Regardless, I now feel completely justified in flat-out refusing to give my phone number to stores now. I spoke with a Payless customer service guy over the phone, and he explained that they do collect phone numbers for “marketing,” which I never would have anticipated to mean “We will sign you up for our text message mailing list and bombard you with stupid messages.”

Fail, Payless.


7 Comments on “I hate you, Payless”

  1. romgi says:

    it has now been recorded by the internets that I, a husband, admitted I was wrong. This day should be memorialized and published in history books.

  2. Katie says:

    Thanks for the warning!! :)

  3. Jim says:

    You need to simply dissociate yourself from any emotional involvement when saying “I was wrong.” Learn to say it like “I’m fine” when people who don’t really care ask you how you are doing. Make it empty of meaning, and then you can say it anytime you need to, get the points for saying it, and not have to care whether you meant it or not. Trust me, this is important advice.

  4. Chad says:

    I bought Emerie some shoes there on Thursday night and when the guy asked me for my phone number I gave him my parent’s fax number. I figure, if they send a text to that number, it wont get there. If they call it, they get a screech in their ear. Either way, they don’t bother me or anyone else. Double win.

  5. mikaroni says:

    The Romgi mentioned that this sounded like it could make a class-action lawsuit, so I looked it up and there’s already one in the works in California. I have no idea how to go about joining, and I suppose it doesn’t really matter, but. Nice to know other people are irritated, too.


  6. Jennifer says:

    I never even bother to ask why they need the information. I simply smile and say “no thanks” when asked for anything other than my zip code. I’ve never had anyone refuse me service or decline my debit card or anything, so it seems to work just fine.

  7. Tina Christin says:

    I hope someone does start a class action suit coz as a former employee we HATED asking for that info but our jobs were on the line if we didn’t hit a certain % each day. We actually found ways of cheating to get around bothering the customer. Payless actually thinks that all the hassleing of the customer they are doing in bringing more people in when the numbers prove it is not. The people on top are top are fooling themselves.

Be opinionated! We certainly are.

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